The Swifts continued their strenuous programme of fixtures when they entertained Ballywalter Rec 2nds at the Millbridge. This was most certainly a roller coaster game which could well have gone either way.
The Swifts dominated play in the first half and could well have scored a bag full but a combination of last ditch defending, great saves and rank poor finishing contrived to keep the score down.
Birthday boy Gareth Bingham opened the scoring when he fired in after 50 minutes but a rash tackle from Paul King gave Ballywalter the equaliser from the penalty spot.
Greg Allison who had played a part in the opening goal was again the play maker for the Swifts second goal when his run ended with McCaffrey executing a neat finish. Again slack defending allowed Ballywalter to equalise and a mistake by Herron left a forward with an open goal and he unbelievably placed his shot wide.
Allison’s pace and desire to pursue lost causes resulted in the Swifts winning the game when he chased down a ball that everyone thought was going out for a throw and raced into the penalty before squaring to Herron who shot into the net.
United entertained Lisburn Rangers in their penultimate league fixture at Millbridge on Saturday last. This proved to be a difficult encounter although United will be bitterly disappointed that their superior percentage of play did not yield all three points.
In the first half United were out of the blocks very quickly and Lisburn were hemmed into their own half for most of the time although they were quite dangerous on the break giving United defence of Foster, Brashaw, Boal and Herron some difficult moments while Brian McMullan was called upon to make one excellent stop.
In midfield Smyth, Hunter, Stuart McMullan and Aaron Cheevers were controlling things but they just couldn’t create the openings for hard working forwards Ian McMullan and Scott Brashaw.
Lisburn were reduced to ten men on the half hour when a moment of indiscipline followed moments later by a crude tackle on Cheevers was suitably rewarded.
In the second half Lisburn regrouped and on the hour mark following a strong and persistent run by their centre forward he managed to hold of the tackles of Foster and Brashaw to score with a delicate shot that gave McMullan no chance.
Ian McMullan who had been lively all afternoon scored the equaliser in the 65th minute however despite the introduction of Kelly, Bowman and Allison United were unable to get their noses in front.
United’s last game of the season takes place at the Millbridge on Saturday 4th May.
United entertained Dunmurry YM at the Millbridge on Saturday in a league game. Encounters between these teams have traditionally been close and this one was no different.
United dominated the opening exchanges and should have been ahead however the underside of the crossbar came to the rescue of Dunmurry YM in the 10th minute following great work by McMullan while their keeper produced an outstanding save from an Adam Herron thunderbolt from the edge of the penalty area that looked goal bound all the way.
The home side were playing some great football however the lack of a goal to provide that extra bit of encouragement and the absence of new striker Steven Kennedy through illness was a disappointment for the large contingent of supporters who were looking forward to his home debut.
Defensively United were well organised with Davy Boal, Ross Hayes, McCauley Foster and Adam Herron dominating however it was the visitors who breached the United goal when a forward toe poked a loose ball into the roof of the net giving Brain McMullan no chance.
In the second half, United surged forward in search of an equaliser with Hunter, Brashaw and Smyth linking very well however the Dunmurry rear-guard were in no mood to give up their lead.
The introduction of substitutes Craig Bowman and Scott McKibbin together with a change of formation gave United a significant territorial advantage with Cheever’s getting more service and the forcing a number of corners.
Smyth who is one of the smaller players on the pitch almost scored in the 70th minute when he rose to head wide under pressure however the visitors did not learn their lesson and when McMullan sent over another well placed corner Jay Smyth was in the right place to head the ball into the net.
In the closing minutes the game became very open and McMullan in the United goals had to be at his best defending a number of well-placed free kicks while at the other end Ross Hayes almost won the game for United when he climbed above the Dunmurry YM defence to head goal ward but the keeper managed to grab the ball.
This was a hard earned point for United however they fully deserved it for the quality of their play and percentage of play.